Regaining consciousness I look out the window to see field upon field surrounds us, lightly dusted with snow. I turn my head to face Peter who is focusing hard on the road ahead, so focused in fact he is oblivious to the fact I'm now awake. For someone who only yesterday took a beating he is coping rather well and seems so alive, it must be the adrenalin. I turn back and stare out into the distance continuing to open up in front of us. The sky is littered with thick black clouds and is grey elsewhere; it really is a very bleak picture.
I let out a deep sigh and hope it'll be enough to get Peter's attention. I'm feeling slightly uneasy around him, although I wasn't looking back at that shop I know he hurt the young assistant and he had no reason, no motive. Something with him has changed and I just can't place my finger on the exact moment he turned but I just want back my Peter, he wasn't perfect but he wasn't this monster either!
"What's wrong?" he asks cutting the silence.
"Nothing" I lie as I try to fight back the tears I wish to shed over god knows what.
"Something's wrong Carla, come on tell me," he demands forcefully.
"You're scaring me," I mumble like a scared child as I shrink back down into my seat.
He laughs and then turns to glance at me, then back at the road then back to me and continues to do this for a few seconds as if saying 'what?' When my expression stays blank and he realises I'm serious and slams on the breaks bringing the car to a sudden halt in the road.
"What?" he asks. Leaving me feeling uneasy and not sure how to answer.
"Peter, I mean, well meant" I stutter. "I don't know what's happening, I've been confused and scared since all the drama on the boat baby and I just don't know who you are right now. Your moods are terrible and I think maybe we should just find the embassy and get home, back to reality, normal." I offer enthusiastically.
Silence falls between us and I feel anxious as I await his reaction. Come on Peter, you know I'm right I will him.
"Do you know nothing Carla?" he yells. "That is the stupidest thing I've heard, we are illegally in this country, no money no passports and you want to go to the embassy. They won't believe all this and we'll end up in prison or maybe even worse" he continues to shout at me. His eyes bulging from their sockets, temples pulsing and lips wet with salvia.
"I didn't think.." I stutter again and feel so small. He shakes his head as he pushes the gear into drive again and releases the brakes. Placing his foot on the accelerator he pushes hard and we go flying forward at speed.
"The plan is, we are going to get some more money, and we are going to get out of Russia, across Europe and I will get you home, but Carla, I need you to be supportive. I need you to do this with me" he explains.
It sounds ridiculous if you ask me and I hate to admit it but he is right, one hundred percent. I agree to the ludicrous plan, its not like I have a choice. I can see it now 'Connor and Barlow, European Bonnie and Clyde' just wait till back home they all see that. Then our plan to tell them all that we actually did have the quiet sailing holiday we had said will be ruined.
His hand reaches over and grabs mine, it's cold and clammy but I don't brush him away. In all honesty its nice to have him being affectionate. Our eyes meet awkwardly for just a second before he puts all his attention back into driving but his fingers gently stroke my knuckles as we drive on. "It'll be ok baby, you'll see," he says in a soft voice. It instantly calms me, I always trusted Peter before and at my most vulnerable so I'm sure I can again.
"I Love you," I say quietly.
"I love you too" is his response as he pulls into a little garage at the side of the road. Surely not again! I shoot him a disapproving look and he responds with a cheeky smile. "Need fuel baby" he jokes as he jumps out the car. I feel that instant relief again and smile back but somewhat nervously. Taking the fuel pump he fiddles about with the petrol cap and I watch as the numbers flash up on the screen and increase quickly.
Finally they stop and Peter is heading inside to pay the attendant. In the distance I can hear the faint cry of sirens but pay them very little attention. I watch Peter again praying that he won't do something stupid, I keep focused on him as I watch him approach the till and reach into his pocket. My heart stops for just a minute until I see him pull out a wad of the stolen cash. In the background I can still hear the sirens but have chosen to ignore all that may be happening around me.
Then I see what I was dreading, what I feared. Peter pulls a gun from his inside pocket. Where on earth did he acquire all this gear? He holds it up and aims it directly in the face of the cashier and I suddenly can't breathe. My eyes firmly fixed on that spot until a movement beside the car distracts me. My head staggers around the forecourt and all I can see are police cars, flashing blue lights giving it there all and police dotted all around the little building.
Every one of them has a gun, aimed in that direction but Peter hasn't noticed or registered their arrival. Sirens are still ringing out and can still be heard in the distance and still he stands focused on the cashier. He's really done it this time and now I really have something to be scared about. I'm an accomplice to murder after all I was there. A wave of sickness hits me and I feel it rush up my throat. There is nothing I can do to stop it. Doubling over in my seat I stare down at the carpet and almost choke on the vomit as it seeps through my lips.